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LaHood A Bus Rapid Transit Acolyte as Austin Gets BRT

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 12:29 PM

Map of Austin's Proposed BRT System

Texas, oil and driving capital of of the U.S., is getting a Bus Rapid Transit system. The state's capital is slated to get 40 miles of new busways in 2014.

And in his blog today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood waxes on the advantages of Bus Rapid Transit, in a post that could have been written by the pro-BRT group, Institute for Transportation Development Policy.

As LaHood describes the service: "The new MetroRapid bus service will include 40 new bus stations with 40 clean diesel buses running along a 37.5 mile route parallel to the region’s main highways, I-35 and Loop-1. The service will make it easier for riders to access the State Capitol, the University of Texas, and the opportunities available in downtown Austin’s central business district."

But here's where he really goes gaga:

BRT is an enhanced system with modern buses operating on separate lanes or other transitways. By running on special lanes isolated from traffic, BRT combines the flexibility of buses with the efficiency of rail. And with high-tech vehicles and advanced infrastructure, BRT operates at faster speeds than conventional bus service while also providing greater reliability and increased customer convenience.

What communities get is essentially rail on wheels.

In Austin, Administrator Rogoff signed a grant agreement providing $38 million to build a bus rapid transit system in Austin, bringing additional transportation choices to one of the most congested mid-size cities in the country.

The new MetroRapid bus service will include 40 new bus stations with 40 clean diesel buses running along a 37.5 mile route parallel to the region’s main highways, I-35 and Loop-1. The service will make it easier for riders to access the State Capitol, the University of Texas, and the opportunities available in downtown Austin’s central business district.

No word yet on whether Austin's service will be up to international BRT standards, including segregated lanes, off-board payment, no-step boarding, and signal priority.

 

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Comments [1]

The Overhead Wire

This is NOT BRT, it is Rapid Bus. BRT has dedicated lanes. Austin's plan does not have any where it counts. I love what Ray LaHood is doing, but blurring the definitions hurts all transportation planning.

Apr. 16 2012 07:26 PM

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